The worst thing that your visitor can find on your website is none other than a 404 error, when only a single page shows up. It disrupts the visitor’s experience to engage with you and might even drive them away. That is why maintenance and action needs to be done to ensure that your website can be accessible to your visitor.
Here are some action you can do:
Conduct Regular Link Checks
Primary cause of 404 errors are broken links. Do a regular checkup on your website using online tools or plugins and verify all internal and external links, including buttons, images, navigation menus and hyperlinks. Do update or fix on any broken links promptly to prevent occurrence of error pages.
Implement Proper Redirections
When you make changes to your website’s structure or URLs, implement proper redirections to maintain a smooth user experience. Use 301 redirects to redirect outdated or removed pages to relevant and corresponding pages. Implementing redirects ensures that visitors are seamlessly directed to the intended content instead of encountering a 404 error.
Create Custom 404 Error Pages
Some visitors may still end up on a 404 error page despite your best efforts to prevent it. To prepare for this scenario, create a custom 404 error page that provides some engagement to help them. Design the page to include a clear error message, suggestions or help in navigating back to the main website. Additionally, provide a search bar or prominent links to important pages to help users quickly find what they’re looking for.
Maintain Website Backups
Regularly backing up your website’s content and files in case of 404 errors. In the event of accidental deletions or technical issues, having backups enables you to quickly restore lost pages and prevent visitors from encountering broken links. Schedule automated backups or use reliable backup plugins to ensure you have recent backups readily available.
Keep URLs Consistent
Be consistent in URL structure and only use relevant keywords in your URLs. Avoid making frequent changes to URLs unless necessary, as this can result in broken links and confusion for search engines and visitors alike. When redesigning or reorganizing your website, establish a proper URL redirection plan to maintain consistency and prevent 404 errors.
Monitor Website Analytics
Use your website analytics tool to identify pages that generate a significant number of 404 errors. Pay close attention to your website’s user behavior, referral sources, and popular landing pages, these data can help you locate problematic areas and take immediate measures to fix any broken links, update outdated content, or enhance navigation to prevent visitors from encountering 404 errors.
Preventing 404 errors is crucial for providing a seamless browsing experience and keeping visitors engaged on your website. Only by regular maintenance and action, you can effectively avoid 404 errors in your website. A well-maintained and error-free website will enhance user experience, boost credibility, and ensure visitors can navigate your site with ease, increasing the chances of achieving your website’s goals and objectives.